Morgan Johnson | February 9, 2018
The curtain will open this weekend on the Pasquerilla East Music Company’s (PEMCo) production of “Urinetown.” The student-run musical theater group will perform the satirical show Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. on the Washington Hall main stage.
“Urinetown” is a musical about a town that has undergone a drought. In order to compensate for the lack of water, a water company requires citizens to pay to use the restroom. The show follows the inevitable monopolization of bathrooms and the chaos and humor that ensues. Freshman Gabrielle Evans, who plays Hope Cladwell — the female lead — said the play is a coming-of-age story for her character.
“It’s a weird premise at first, but when you think about it, it’s all about conversation,” Evans said. “The female main character grows up in a sheltered bubble and the show is her journey with the audience to open her eyes to what is going on around them.”
“Urinetown” was entirely student produced. Students designed and built the set, props, costume, lights and audio and directed and choreographed the musical as well.
PEMCo executive producer senior Kelsey Dool thinks that the show’s political commentary is necessary to create a conversation on Notre Dame’s campus about conservation and respecting others’ beliefs.
“It’s a satire so it’s shedding light on some flaws in society,” Dool said. “It doesn’t take a particular side though it’s satirizing everything from capitalism to populism and musical theater itself. Our director mostly wants people to get out of ‘Urinetown’ that being totally committed to one side of an argument is dangerous. He wants people to see a need for conversation especially since this is such a polarized time in society and people are not listening to the other side.”
Evans also said despite the show’s facade of comedy and musical numbers, the actors are focused on conveying its deeper themes and relevance.